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Munch works may have 'as is' showing

Sept. 4, 2006 at 7:16 PM

OSLO, Norway, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Officials at Norway's Munch Museum are considering a limited "as is" run of Edvard Munch's recently recovered paintings "Madonna" and "The Scream."

Aftenposten reported that since the two stolen paintings were recovered last week by authorities, museum officials have been thinking about bowing to public demand and exhibiting the famed works in their current post-theft condition.

The two paintings were stolen from the museum back in 2004 by armed assailants and were recovered by Oslo police last Thursday, which prompted many in the Norwegian capital to request a showing prior to the paintings undergoing repair.

While many art officials have said a limited "as is" run would do little to damage the paintings or the museum's reputation, Munch expert Hans Richard Elgheim has opposed such requests for a different reason, the report said.

"I think it's unnecessary that the paintings be reduced to monuments over criminal activity," Elgheim told Aftenposten. "I can understand the public's curiosity, but the Munch Museum is an art museum, not a crime museum."

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